Izzy the "therapy dog" is a full-time employee at the University of California San Francisco Children's Hospital who helps patients get back on their own two feet.
And while pets have been used for years to cheer up hospital patients and relieve stress, The Early Show's resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner explained Tuesday that more and more hospitals are taking a new approach, allowing pets to visit patients who have increasingly serious illnesses.
Time with Izzy, a miniature poodle, means a lot to patients, their families and staffers, Izzy's trainer, Francis Metcalf, tells Turner.
"These kids are in a hospital setting," he says. "It's sterile, and when you bring something as out of context as a dog, the magic in their eyes is pretty amazing!"
Adds Metcalf, Izzy is "very requested. People really want Izzy time!"
To see Turner's full report,